What's the difference between below questions? Are they the same?

  1. Did you see the movie?
  2. Have you seen the movie?
  3. Had you seen the movie?

I have used question 1 and 2 in situations when I have to enquire if the subject has performed the action.

For example:
Have you completed your homework?
Have you done the laundry?
Did you send the mail?
Did you finish writing your essay?

Am I correct to use 1 and 2 this way? Is there any difference between the two.

I am not sure when to I use question 3?
Can somebody give examples of questions using had.

1 Answer 1


The differences between these questions are differences of context. People would tend to use them in different circumstances. For example:

Did you see the movie on Channel 2 last night?

This generally refers back to a completed action/event.

Have you seen the movie that is showing at the Odeon?

This generally refers to a continuing action/event - or to a past action whose effects/implications continue into the present.

Had you seen the movie, you would have been most impressed by the actors.

This is another way of saying: If you had seen the movie, .........

Your examples are all idiomatic.

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